Hydroclimate of northeast US highly sensitive to solar forcing

A new paper in Geophysical Research Letters presents “a 6800–year, decadally-resolved biomarker and multidecadally-resolved hydrogen isotope record of hydroclimate from a coastal Maine peatland.”

The researchers say that “Regional moisture balance responds strongly and consistently to solar forcing at centennial to millennial time scales, with solar minima concurrent with wet conditions. We propose that the Arctic/North Atlantic Oscillation (AO/NAO) can amplify small solar fluctuations, producing the reconstructed hydrological variations.”  Note that this method of solar amplification is supported by several studies in Europe.  The cycles and amplifications are also supported by independent lake sediment and speleothem (cave formation) data.

The researchers go on to say, “The Sun may be entering a weak phase, analogous to the Maunder minimum, which could lead to more frequent flooding in the northeastern US at this multidecadal timescale.”


Nichols, J. E., and Y. Huang, 2012, Hydroclimate of the northeastern United States is highly sensitive to solar forcing, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L04707, doi:10.1029/2011GL050720.

[Link to full paper]


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Weather extremes and global warming – no increasing trend



One comment

  1. This is an excellent piece of work, on a fascinating subject. The apparent interaction of the solar cycle and ocean circulation patterns is remarkable. This paper warrants study.   JP

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